Source: Times of karachi

Karachi’s long-awaited Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Red Line project seems to be stuck in a perpetual hold, causing frustration and inconvenience to commuters as costs soar and construction remains at a standstill. With University Road resembling more of a construction site than a thoroughfare, the project’s progress is a sore point for the city’s residents.

CM adresses the issue

Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah acknowledges the mounting challenges faced by the population due to the project’s delay. However, despite assurances of resolving the bottlenecks, there’s no concrete timeline for resuming the stalled construction.

Karachi BRT Red Line Project Will Boost Pakistan's Transport Sector Sustainably: ADB - Business & Finance - Business Recorder
Source: Business Observer

The BRT Red Line project, a sprawling endeavor encompassing multiple corridors and infrastructure components, was envisioned to revolutionize Karachi’s public transportation. Yet, its implementation has been met by setbacks, including cost overruns, land acquisition hurdles, and bureaucratic tangles.

Former federal minister Aminul Haq highlights the plight of the affected populace, particularly the students of six universities, who endure daily hardships navigating through dug-up roads and dust-laden air. What was envisioned as a solution to Karachi’s transit woes has turned into a source of inconvenience for its residents.

Only 5% completed

Originally slated for completion by 2025, the project has encountered numerous roadblocks along the way. Despite the initial groundwork, construction ground to a halt after a mere five percent completion, citing escalating costs and logistical challenges.

A recent decision to approve a 30 percent cost escalation underscores the financial strain plaguing the project, potentially inflating its budget from Rs79 billion to Rs103 billion. Such ballooning costs raise concerns about fiscal prudence and effective project management.

Dr. Sharoosh Lodi, the vice chancellor of NED University of Engineering and Technology, acknowledges progress in addressing some of the project’s hurdles. However, he cautions that the resumption of work might still be months away, with labor shortages exacerbated by seasonal factors such as Eid festivities.

Red Line BRT: TransKarachi solves bus depot problem - Pakistan Aaj English TV
Source: Aaj Tv

Land Acquisitions 

Land acquisition issues, particularly the reluctance of Rangers to relocate from vital sites, have further complicated matters. While alternative arrangements are being made, bureaucratic inertia continues to impede progress.

With the increase in the price of raw materials such as cement , diesel, steel, the Executive Committee of National Economic Council (ECNEC) has yet agreed to factor them for inflation and provide a fund for the continuation for the project. However there still remains doubts about the red line and its timeline for completion is still as unclear as it was before.

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Usman Kashmirwala
Your thoughts are your biggest asset in this world and as a content writer, you get a chance to pen down these thoughts and make them eternal. I am Usman Kashmirwala, apart from being a movie maniac, car geek and a secret singer, I am a guy lucky enough to be working in a profession that allows me to showcase my opinions and vision to the world every day and do my little part in making it a better place for all of us.